By David Dwork

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title on Monday inside his home ballpark.

Stanton and fellow Marlin Justin Bour will participate in the annual battle of ball-bashers which takes place at Marlins Park.

The derby will hopefully be a nice distraction from the negative press surrounding the team as owner Jeffrey Loria continues with negotiations to sell the franchise.

During his win last summer at Petco Park, Stanton set a HR Derby record by swatting a ridiculous 61 home runs.

The main difference for Miami’s highest-paid player is that this year he’ll get to join in the All-Star Game fun the following night.

He traveled out west last summer just to take swings in the Home Run Derby, which turned out to be a pretty good move.

This time around Giancarlo was selected as an All-Star reserve, entering the break with 26 home runs and 58 RBIs while slashing .277/.357/.542.

Marlins teammate Marcell Ozuna was voted in as a starter and will be joined by Stanton on the National League roster.

For Monday’s Home Run Derby Stanton will be the No. 1 seed while Bour was seeded seventh.

The first round will see Stanton face New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez.

Bour will also face a Yankees slugger, albeit one that was a relative unknown just a few short months ago.

Rookie Aaron Judge, who has seemingly come out of nowhere to lead the majors in home runs with 30, will be Bour’s first round opponent.

No. 3 seed Cody Bellenger of the Los Angeles Dodgers will face six-seed Charlie Blackmon from the Colorado Rockies.

The fourth seed is Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and he will go up against five seed Miguel Sano from the Minnesota Twins.

Marlins Park will have its roof closed but the outfield walls open for the derby.

It will be interesting to see how much attention is paid during the All-Star events to the ongoing sale of the Marlins franchise.

Recent articles indicating a possible fire sale of talent and lawsuits against former season ticket holders have painted the Marlins and current owner Jeffrey Loria in a very negative light.

It’s an going issue between Loria and Miami fans as neither seems to have much respect for the other.

As for the Home Run Derby, it begins at 8 p.m.


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